Say Aloha to an Authentic Hawaiian Luau

The people I beat out for the buffet

The people I beat out for the buffet

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Kona Kai Resort’s first luau of the summer. Having only experienced a luau in Hawaii when I was all of 11 years old, I had no idea what I was in for. Was I supposed to bring my own hula skirt? Did you have to eat the luau pig in the pit? And if you’re a vegetarian, is there a pit-roasted tofu pig? These are things I was eager to find out.

The luau was completely sold-out, and for good reason. The setting was directly on the beach in Shelter Island, and the weather was gorgeous. My husband and I were greeted with leis and escorted to our tables, where we had a direct view of the water, the stage, and were in close proximity to the buffet table. After grabbing some Mai Tai’s, we were set. I was happy to have left my grass skirt at home, as I would have been the only one besides the dancers wearing one.

Is the view from your dinner table this gorgeous?

Is the view from your dinner table this gorgeous?

The sunset over the water was gorgeous, and truly added to the tropical atmosphere. The Hawaiian band was the perfect touch to the evening, and we were able to enjoy a dinner show of music and Polynesian dances while chowing down on our food. No one made me eat the luau pig or judged my plate of delicious salad, sticky rice, Hawaiian rolls, coconut creme brulee, and additional macadamia nut cookies. Hey, I was there to tell you about my experience, and I needed to experience two desserts.

The Kona Kai summer luaus will continue on Friday evenings on July 17, 24, 31, and August 14. It’s a great idea for a date or a night out with friends and family, and if you’re there for a special occasion they announce it on stage. So if you’re looking to score points with your in-laws in town celebrating their anniversary, I’d suggest you make reservations for the next luau ASAP.

This entry was posted in Attractions, Culinary, Insider Tips, Outdoor Adventures and tagged , , , , by Katie S.. Bookmark the permalink.
Katie S.

About Katie S.

I’m a 25-year old arts and culture nut who loves animals, grammar, live music, farmer’s markets, hysterically bad movies, anything that smells like pumpkin, shoes and Chipotle.

What would you do on your ideal San Diego day?

I’d start my day with a breakfast burrito and a morning run on the beach at Fiesta Island with my dog.  Then I’d bring a picnic lunch to the Japanese Friendship Garden, and end my day rocking out at a concert.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

The Chargers locker room.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

I love shopping at the kitschy stores in Hillcrest and finding great deals at the outlet malls. Shopping is an outdoor activity, right?

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

I’m a vegetarian, so I’d have to say veggie burgers and beer. My favorite is the veggie burgers at the Wild Note Café that are made fresh with hummus.

Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…



  • Easy Star All-Stars “With A Little Help From My Friends”



  • Fleet Foxes “White Winter Hymnal”



  • Franz Ferdinand “Ulysses”



  • DeVotchka “How It Ends”


1 thought on “Say Aloha to an Authentic Hawaiian Luau

  1. I have just recently been finding out information on luaus. What they mean. The history and customs that go with a luau to say nothing of the delicious food. I do so love the taste of “the pig in a pit”. Scrumptious.

    Have never attended an authentic luau but rest assured it is on my bucket list.

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